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Karlström, Anna, , . Authenticity
2015, In Heritage Keywords, edited by Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels and Trinidad Rico. USA: University Press of Colorado.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes, Contributed by:

Summary: This text offers a brief overview of some approaches to the concept of authenticity in international heritage management. Focusing on a case study of Buddhist sites in Laos, Karlström then argues that culturally specific understandings of authenticity pose problems for the universal application of a preservationist approach to heritage management. It concludes with some open-ended questions about how we should pursue alternative approaches.

Comment: This is a good text for instructors who want to discuses authenticity in the context of a reasonably in-depth look at a particular non-Western cultural context. While the article itself is light on conceptual/ philosophical work, if offers useful material for philosophical analysis and discussion. It would pair well with the theoretical framework provided in Yuriko Saito’s “Why Restore Works of Art?”, or the alternative approach to authenticity captured in Carolyn Korsmeyer’s “Real Old Things.”

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Shumener, Erica, , . The Metaphysics of Identity: Is Identity Fundamental?
2017, Philosophy Compass 12 (1)
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Added by: Bjoern Freter, Contributed by: Zach Thornton

Abstract: Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.

Comment: This is an introductory text on the topic of grounding identity and distinctness facts. This topic is connected to the literature on Leibniz’s Law and the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles. This paper provides an overview of arguments for and against the view that identity and distinctness facts are fundamental, ultimately favoring the view that they are not.

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Yuriko Saito, , . Why Restore Works of Art?
1985, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 44(2):141-151.
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Added by: Erich Hatala Matthes, Contributed by:

Summary: Saito examines arguments concerning why artworks should be restored, which are couched in terms of a debate between “purist” and “integral/conservator” restoration. Purists believe artworks should only be cleaned, emphasizing the integrity of the material object, whereas integral restorationists are open to adding material to the work, emphasizing the integrity of the original aesthetic experience. Rather than embracing a particular side in this debate, Saito’s discussion reveals how cultural/historical considerations can be as important to the debate over restoration as aesthetic considerations.

Comment: This article offers a useful philosophical framework for thinking about the relationship among preservation, restoration, and authenticity. Using it alongside the following readings might be particularly good in inspiring further discussion: Coleman, Elizabeth Burns. “Aboriginal Painting: Identity and Authenticity.” Jeffers, Chike. “The Ethics and Politics of Cultural Preservation.” Young, James O. “Art, Authenticity and Appropriation.” Korsmeyer, Carolyn. “Real Old Things.” Karlström, Anna. “Authenticity.”

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